Yoga Handstand Video Tutorial: Handstanding 101 “The Basics”

Yoga Handstand Video Tutorial: Handstanding 101 “The Basics

Do you want to do a handstand but have no idea where to start?

Good!

You have come to the right place!

This handstand tutorial video will cover all of the basics from hand placement to how to kick up!

  • Place your hands on your yoga mat shoulder distance apart and spread all ten fingers gripping the mat lightly with your fingertips
  • Wrap your triceps back towards your ribcage and roll your biceps forward.
  • Engage your biceps by trying to “wrinkle the mat” between your hands. You will probably not actually cause the mat to wrinkle but this isometric contraction will help your bicep muscles to fire up!
  • Pull your navel in towards your spine and your bottom floating ribs in and up towards the tops of your thighs.
  • Walk your feet as close as you can to your hands. This should feel a lot like Ardha Uttanasna with your hands flat on the floor and your feet about 18 inches behind your hands. Do this while still keeping your shoulders firmly planted on your upper back and not sliding forward towards your ears. If this happens, slide your shoulders back down and maybe walk your feet back an inch or two.
  • Lift one leg into the air and straighten it all the way. Think of trying to stretch the skin on the back of your knee.
  • Turn the lifted foot pinky straight down towards the ground squaring off the hip.
  • Keeping the lifted leg as straight and firm as possible bend your standing leg and on an exhale kick the straight leg up into the air. (Exhaling as you go up will draw your navel towards your spine and help to engage your core)
  • Keep your eyes fixed just in front of your index fingers the whole time. Resist the temptation to gaze back at your feet.
  • Once you find your balance squeeze your inner thighs together (think thigh master!) draw your navel towards your spine and reach your tailbone towards your heels!
  • You can practice this at the wall and then move away from the wall as you feel more confident.
  • Practice, practice, PRACTICE! It is 99% effort and 1% theory!
  • Subscribe to my blog for more yoga inspiration, videos, practice tips and much, much more!

How to Make Your Yoga Inversions Better: External Rotation of the Shoulder Joint

Website for this image http://www.yogajournal.com
Website for this image http://www.yogalifejourney.com
Inversion Principle for the Shoulders: External Rotation of the Arms.
One of the cornerstone principles of alignment in any inversion is external rotation of the arms. We practice this every time we turn our palms to face out and sweep our arms overhead so it should be easy right?
Sadly, no!
Most of us have developed some very bad habits! What makes full external rotation with arms up so challenging is that typically when we take our hands up overhead several tragic things occur.
Yes, I use the word tragic…
Common Misalignments When Taking the Arms Overhead in External Rotation
1. Our shoulders draw up by our ears
2. Our ribs poke out
3. Our butts stick out to compensate for our now contorted alignement
4. I get my yoga teacher panties all in a bunch
For most of us, these bad habits are born way back in the beginning of our yoga practice when the teacher first asks us to take our arms overhead and we try to take our arm bones past our ears.
Perhaps we secretly believe that if we are to score any yoga “street cred” we must display feats of unusual and exemplary flexibility.
Maybe it’s because we long to be teachers pet and in the dark corners of our young impressionable yoga minds we believe that yoga teachers tend to favour the students that look like they could spend a couple of hours on “The Rack” without so much as a peep of discomfort.
Or perhaps we are showing off for the cute boy we met at Starbucks who just happens to have parked his Manduka mat behind ours (What? He has the same mat as you?..it’s a SIGN! Now all you have to do is impress him with your flexibility and bam! The two of you will ride off together into the proverbial yoga sunset…or better yet float off on his Manduka Mat like Walt Diseny’s Alladin.)
Yes, I’ve given it some thought you see, but probably not enough…
In All Inversions: Draw your arm bones in to your shoulder sockets and externally rotate them. 

Above you can see the most basic example of external rotation of the arms in the first photo the model has the hands alongside her body her thumbs pointing away from her body. (in internal rotation the thumbs would point in see below) In the second photo the model has kept the external rotation of the arms and taken her arms up overhead. Several amazing things are happening here.

Proper Alignment When Taking the Arms Overhead in External Rotation

  1. You can see that her shoulder blades are firmly on her upper back and not riding up by her ears.
  2. Her shoulder blades are spreading apart from one another. This action helps to engage Serratus Anterior. (Serratus Anterior is the MVP when it comes to inversions!)
  3. The armpits are hollowed out and her arms are stick straight. Her triceps are firm and wrapping forward towards her front body and her biceps and inner shoulders are moving  towards her back body.
  4. Her tailbone is drawn down towards her heels and is neither squeezing nor sticking out too far.

Work your External Rotation in Plank, Downward Dog and Cat/Cow Poses. 

  • You can work external rotation of your arms in many poses but in particular Cat/Cow, Plank and Down Dog. When your shoulders are in true external rotation it feels as if you are hollowing out your armpits. Imagine you had to hold a tennis ball under each armpit and you will get the feeling I’m talking about.

Need Still Further Convincing that Externally Rotating Your Arms is Important?

  • When external rotation is not present when taking the arms overhead it can cause impingement syndrome. (Head of arm bone crashing into the acromion process.) Ouch!
  • Feel It: Notice how different it feels to take the arms overhead with the arm bones rolled in (internal rotation palms facing back shoulders rolled forward) vs. rotated out (external rotation palms facing forward shoulders rolled back).

Related articles

kukhahnyoga:

It’s a fact. Let’s face it, wether we like it or not having a strong core is the building block to any yoga pose. You can never do too many abs, or have a core that is just too ridiculously strong. Love this quick and effective ab routine from The Haute Bunny, check it out!

Originally posted on thehautebunny:

This workout is awesome if you wanna shrink your waist and get a flat toned tummy!  Each move has a picture accompanying it to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing.  If you do it, tell me if you like it!

View original 112 more words

kukhahnyoga:

Loved this from the lovely ladies over at THE Hot and Healthy Blog :)

Originally posted on THE Hot and Healthy's Blog:

We have a saying in yoga: “No excuses, best results.”  Not even wrist surgery can stop GR from hand standing.  

It’s not what you do that causes injury, it’s how you do it.  If your activities are hurting you, you are doing something wrong- Doesn’t take much to figure that one out!  Reevaluate your alignment and make it work.  The only thing stopping you from achieving any of your goals is the bullshit excuses you tell yourself. 

For healthy handstanding check out Brock or Krista Cahill’s class at www.yogisanonymous.com.

View original

“Rock Your Vinyasa” Yoga Music Playlist (listen to it on Spotify)

 

yoga-handstand-rachel-brathen-beach-rainbow
facebook.com/rachelsyoga

If you are like me you are always in search of your next favorite song for yoga class! When I build a yoga playlist it’s a sparkling collection of songs that I handpicked from a sea of less worthy songs. Each one individualy is a gleaming jewel of sorts.

Of course, one woman’s musical treasure is another persons noise pollution. Listen and see what you think of my yoga music playlist here on Spotify.

“Rock Your Vinyasa” Yoga Music Playlist

Adam Plack & Johnny (White Ant) Soames – Initiation (Change)
Euphoria – Devil May Care
Radiohead – Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
The National – Conversation 16
TV On The Radio – Blues From Down Here
Nightmares On Wax – Still? Yes!
Noiseshaper featuring Juggla – All a Them a Do
Nickodemus – Mystery of Life feat. Andrea Monteiro
Phoenix – Rome
Vivian Girls – Where Do You Run To
Best Coast – Make You Mine
Simon Resoul – Entre – Featuring Kormac
Eva Be – Into My Blues (feat. Pegah Ferydoni)
Frou Frou – Shh
The Temper Trap – Fader
Animal Collective – Fireworks
The Shins – Pink Bullets
The National – Watching You Well
The Antlers – Kettering
Lissie – Everywhere I Go
Music for Deep Meditation – Shavasana Sound Bath Therapy – Deep Healing Through the Power of Sound (Feat. Ann Malone)

 

kukhahnyoga:

I love this guys yoga blog! Check out this cool hip opener! I have never seen it before, and that is saying alot considering I have been doing yoga for 10 years now!

Originally posted on :

Numerous variations of the staff pose can be found in our advanced training syllabus.  These amazing stretches open both the outer hips and inner thighs and make poses like eka pada sirsasana, (foot behind the head) infinitely easier to accomplish.  The extreme external rotation of the leg found in this pose will also create the requisite flexibility to flip the legs into lotus without using using your hands.  If you want to do this in postures like padma sirsasana, (lotus headstand), these variations will help you get there.

As far as I can tell, the variation shown below seems to be practiced primarily by Yoga 23 practitioners in the Ukraine.

The lifted staff - demonstrated by David Magone

View original

Inspirational Quote (and One-Handed Handstand Photo) – On Being Unique by Osho

 

Website for image http://bodytribal.tumblr.com
“Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable.You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life. I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being.”
Osho

 

The Top 5 Best Songs for Savasana

You may have gathered from my last post just how seriously I take my Savasana….and if you did not..well, I do! 

So, with that in mind I put together a short playlist of the best 5 songs you will ever hear in Savasana. Period.

Listen to these songs and try not to get blissed out…

I dare you!

It really is impossible!

So there you have it! Enjoy! Feel free to drop me a line when you reach new heights of enlightenment, or just levitate over to my neck of the woods and tell me in person!

The Top 5 Best Songs For Savasana (click here to listen via Spotify)

1. Waters of Life / Sacral Jonathan Goldman

2. Storm of Prayers Craig Kohland & Shaman’s Dream

3. Puja Krishna Das & Baird Hersey & Prana

4. Om Prana Rara Avis

5. Gopala‘s Dream Jai Uttal

5 Tips For Having the Best Savasana Ever!

Savasana: savasana is being without was, being without will be. It is being without anyone who is.”   
 Light on Life, B.K.S. Iyengar

How to make your next savasana the best five minutes of your life…

You know that excited feeling you get before your first “real date” with you new snookums? Well, I get that feeling when I’m about to take Savasana. Yep, I’m weird. Or maybe, I’m enlightened. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

Either way here are my top five tips for dropping into bliss and having the bestest savasana ever.

1. Don’t know what to do with your feet? No need to stress, this isn’t dancing with the stars and I’m not going to try to teach you the fox trot!

Relax….ahhhhh…

Alright, now just take your feet about as wide as the mat and let them roll out naturally. Here is a tip: Your toes will point out to the sides.

2. Lift your buns and lengthen your tailbone away from your lower back and towards your heels. This is not JUST for those sporting a badonkadonk, but J. Lo if you’re reading this, listen up, because this one is for you girl!

This amazing little adjustment will eliminate any “crunchy” feeling in the lower back. The term “crunchy” is only cute when it’s used to describe peanut butter,…(and even then it’s questionable), try to keep your savasana “crunch-free!”

3. Pickup your shoulders and move them down away from your ears. Use the “stickiness” of your sticky mat to hold your shoulders down. Much like a fly caught on some sticky fly paper your shoulders will be stuck down there away from your ears and no longer able to bother you. Brilliant! (Don’t get your panties in a bunch over the flypaper analogy, no flys were hurt in the making of this blog post and bunched panties do not a comfortable savasana make.)

 4. Place your hands with your palms facing up about 5-8 inches from your body. The only exception to this rule is if you are right next to someone. Touchingthem. Touching. sweaty. hand. touchingyou. What you’ve just encountered here is the recipe for a potentially awkward savasana. You could bravely leave your hand there. Or for a less awkward savasana and more relaxing experience place your hands on your chest, belly or pretty much anywhere you won’t meet with someone else’s clammy fingers.

5. Relax the skin between your eyebrows. Most of us have jam-packed lives that have us running around  feeling like red bull fueled spider monkeys, but it’s time to make sweet savasana! Power down the noggin’ and smooth the eyebrow wrinkle. THE BIG BOSS wrinkle that looks like the number 11 between your two eyebrows. Imagine the teacher has her thumbs on each of your eyebrows and is pulling them away from one another gently. Aaaahhhh. Feels better already, right?

Now drift away to your happy place. It’s okay if  your “happy place” consists of Johhny Depp bringing you cupcakes for lunch while your boss keeps you cool by fanning you with a palm frond. I won’t judge you. Nobody will. That’s why savasana is so freakin’ awesome! Not to mention I’ve rested better in those five blissful minutes than a full eight hours on my fancy-pants-egyptian cotton sheets!!!

Enjoy.enjoy.pure.bliss.savasana…..

If you enjoyed this article please share the love below :) Thanks!